Archive for June, 2014

June 15, 2014

A Pagan Party

Blot is a Norse word for sacred gathering; add the important coming together of vintage and new motorcycles all of which mean more than just transport to their owners. Cafe racers, classics, sports bikes and bobbed chopped iron. Motoblot.

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Red framed Triton: Terrific!

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Union Flagged Bonneville: Jack is Nimble then Jack is Quick!

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A proper kitted Hog: Swine and Roses.

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Brand Spanking New Royal Enfield Continentals: Thumper Thoroughbred in cherry red or lemon yellow.

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Scooters from the Med and from the Orient: both sixties items; both looking hip.

June 14, 2014

Motoblot

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Mods versus Rockers no longer; it’s called Motoblot. A dedicated closed street location on the west side with plenty of bikes and loud music. Sunny weather with a cooling breeze drifting in off the lake.

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I’m as happy as a pig in $h1t… Plenty of blog entries for the coming days!

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British, european, Japanese, american Moro’s all.

June 13, 2014

When the Boat comes in

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Our annual big show outing this week saw a pair of theatergoers attend the second evening of Stings new musical on its pre-Broadway performance. The Last Ship is about the failing ship industry of the NorthEast in the seventies. A true geordie story reflecting the other manufacturing losses in England at the time; such as the motorcycle companies.
An aged image from early Police days has Gordon with some admirer as he sits on a Yamaha. Apparently this is a teenage Gwen Stefani who’s father was a Yamaha US exec.
Other two wheeled adventures from Mr Sumner is of course his Brighton hotel doorman Ace Face and cool guy in Quadrophenia.

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“Whey aye man!”

June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday

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Me, myself & I: my first two-wheeled transport (motorized) in Chicago back in ’99. Its a ZX600 Kawasaki Ninja. Greener than a jealous frog, faster than a cheetah runnin’ downhill, and more fun than a big bag o’ LEGO…
Smaller sibling to the big bad ZX11, but enough motor for most! Loved that bike..

June 11, 2014

A Regent Prince

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We’ve had him here before but as today is his 55th birthday we can celebrate with a dour pose cheered up by his beloved Bonneville.

Best know I believe for his role as George in Blackadder 3; amongst many others! He’s not just an ornery Doctor!

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June 10, 2014

Jack

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Wonderful image from 1950 or so. This is Jack Surtees (father of the great John) in front of his shop with splendid Vincent. Reflected in the window, a road sign with the B218 (direction New Cross) and A205 roads,  suggests that this shop was somewhere around Forest Hill, in South London.
His oily overcoat shows much work on engines has been undertaken in the back workshop.
Jack was a renowned grasstrack sidecar racer here astride his Vincent combination with youngster John in the chair. 1951 great stuff!

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June 9, 2014

Right proper cafe racer

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This is a spare tool: muckle tank, teeny seat with close bum-stop, low bars and rear pegs. Built for low slung road going rapidity it can’t stay stopped for too long; you need to get a pace on to get the balance of streamlined stance versus tired wrists and neck. I like it! Very much!

June 8, 2014

Hear Me Roar!

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A feline patch suitable for any leather jacket. Hellcat!

June 7, 2014

Motor

A quick degreasing and oily rag polish sees the Bonnie’s engine looking a little more respectable. No it’s not a shiny mirror-like surface but the grimy oil surface was wiped off to a roadworthy patina.

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June 6, 2014

Small Moto

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Remembering the Day of Days seventy years ago brings countless accounts from numerous members of the expeditionary force venturing onto mainland Europe with Berlin as their destination.
The first ‘ashore’ were the paratroop regiments of the British Army and the Airborne of the Americans. Some jumped, others glided in. To keep momentum and troop movement up a small packable motorcycle was developed. Packed into the tube shaped parachute canister it was dropped along with the troops, field assembled, well unfolded, and push started to give speedier mobility across the French  countryside than yomping with a fully laden pack on. These miniature 100cc Excelsior Welbikes were brought along for the the D-Day landings along the Normandy coast on June 6th1944. The 2stroke Villiers engine had a top speed of 30mph and range of 90 miles.
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Even though they took mere seconds to assemble, the paras typically landed behind lines and had to get under cover quickly, or the differential fall rates of trooper and tube meant they were separated by some distance upon landing. They were generally used as an airfield runnabout and post war curiosity.
 Welbike

June 5, 2014

A Respite

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On the eve of the 70th anniversary if the D-Day landings in Normandy here is an image from a war before that one. Some weary lads sit in the sun with their Douglas 2 3/4 WW1 motorcycles. Rubble and derelict buildings as backdrop, and I’m sure unforgettable memories on their minds. Were at the centennial of the Great War… A conflict to end all wars.. Alas not.

June 4, 2014

Branded

Branding is a name, branding is identity, branding is recognition. In the motorcycle world none more so than Triumph. With over a century of visibility the marques logo has developed and adapted with its place through history to create a timeless brand.

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The latest logo was developed by the ad agency Wolff Olins.

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It has evened out lettering, equal height and rounded off serif to create a hint of slope and movement. Looks good on the tank…

For the nerdy graphic designers…

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Here’s the technical font structure and letter space kerning. More to it than meets the eye for sure.

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June 3, 2014

Hoofer

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The kick start was the owners way of getting the motorcycles engine spinning up for ignition up until the early to mud seventies. It takes a little finesse, careful setup (lest you get an ankle biting kick-back) and a smooth, but hefty swing of the leg. Getting your weight over it eases the proceedings as is an audience of zero. Add one or two bystanders and it all goes to pot. Misfire, blowback pop, slipping pawls or over zealous throttle to get the engine revving like its being mistreated.

When it all goes smoothly and the stars are aligned it can be a beautiful thing: swoosh, crack, put-put…. Into an low rumbling idle…

The road awaits!

June 2, 2014

Sun on Bikes

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Bright late spring skies beam down on the motos as they rest from the hare through the Indiana Dunes State Park.

June 1, 2014

Road trip aftermath for Brit Iron

After yesterdays outing the Bonnie required some much needed maintenance: fork legs drained and refilled. Which necessitated the handlebars to be removed, and the speedo and tach, as well as a readjustment of the steering head bearings to tighten up the proceedings. Also Bob Goodpastor noticed one of

my carb cables was routed a little tightly at the cap; so off came the tank and spun that… Just need to adjust the chain, oil levels in the frame/tank, primary case and gearbox and she’s good for the road again.

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Here’s some more photos from Expert Motorcycle Works… Workbench, tools and ‘cycle display all!

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Rows of British two wheeled history awaits a willing rider.

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Likewise rows of cylinder heads await lapping, guides, valves and rocker arms… As well as a reciprocating cylinder clad piston.